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Public Service Review: Spring 2024

Since 1988, the Stennis Center for Public Service has worked to motivate young people to careers in public service through our collection of student-focused programs including Truman Scholars Day on Capitol Hill, Student Service Corps, Congress to Campus (done in partnership with the Former Members of Congress Association), and Public Service Review. The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation (ENACT) program shares this mission, seeking to help students engage in their democracy through on-the-ground experience with the state legislative process. It is this shared work that prompted the Spring 2024 special edition of Public Service Review, featuring work from students, alumni, and faculty of Brandeis University’s ENACT program.

In this collaborative issue of Public Service Review, you will find reflections from students Wesley Gerschick, Elaina Pevide, Vishni Samaraweera, and Ravi Simon sharing their experiences lobbying in their state legislature through their ENACT sponsored classes. These authors provide first-hand descriptions of the personal opportunities and career-building skills found through their shared curriculum.

ENACT faculty members David J. Weinstein and Lynne Chandler Garcia share their knowledge and experience of the program as well as its impressive impact on their students. David J. Weinstein, assistant director of ENACT, shares the expansive reach of ENACT’s programs and the significant advantages students are receiving as a result. Lynne Chandler Garcia shares the benefits and challenges of leading the program at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Emphasizing ENACT’s national reach, Tomas Cruz Villalvazo shares a conversation with Dr. Jennifer Seelig, an ENACT faculty member at Utah State University. Dr. Seelig discusses how she seeks to fulfill the program’s goals as a professor while Tomas shares the experience and opportunities he gained through the program under Dr. Seelig’s leadership. ENACT students Dalia Moran and Arianna Jackson share experiences from another program affiliate, Massachusetts State Senator Becca Rausch. Senator Rausch summarizes her career path to state leadership as well as the positive difference she sees in ENACT students.

Adding to Public Service Review’s collection of state capitol cover features, the Maine State Capitol is featured in this Spring 2024 edition as a thanks to Maine State Representative Ambureen Rana and University of Maine Student Julian Ober for sharing their work encouraging young people to political engagement. This goal is shared by both the Stennis Center and the ENACT program, and we hope that the reader will share in our efforts to inspire young people to be both participants and leaders in our democracy.

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